Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced on Wednesday that federal agents will shortly begin withdrawing from Portland. The agents were deployed to the area around the Portland courthouse by the Trump administration in response to months-long protests against police brutality in the city.

News reports earlier today said the state and federal officials were in negotiations over the federal forces.

Brown confirmed the news in a tweet, stating that the decision was made following her discussions with Vice President Mike Pence, among others. The plan calls for agents to begin leaving the city starting  Thursday. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said that some agents will remain until the federal government is satisfied with measures being taken by the city.

“After my discussions with VP Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland,” Brown said. “They have acted as an occupying force & brought violence. Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection & ICE officers will leave downtown Portland.”

“Over the past 24 hours, Governor Brown and I have been in regular communications and have agreed to a joint plan to end the violent activity in Portland directed at federal properties and law enforcement officer,” Wolf said in a statement.

The enforcement by federal agents in Portland has led to an escalation of tensions between protestors and authorities. According to Mayor Ted Wheeler, their harsh tactics “nearly killed a demonstrator” and led to more intense demonstrations as pushback.

The presence of federal agents in Portland has been roundly criticized by local officials, but President Donald Trump has vehemently defended their deployment The presence of federal agents in Portland has been roundly criticized by local officials, but President Donald Trump has vehemently defended their deployment Photo: AFP / Ankur Dholakia